Eight-year-old Laura is very kind and thoughtful to all animals, whether it's a baby bird who has tumbled from a tree, or a scary spider lurking in her bedroom. Her mum and dad decide that she is definitely responsible enough to have her very own puppy - so take her to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, where she meets Bertie the West Highland terrier.
Poor Bertie hasn't been treated very well by his previous owners, so is very thin and frightened, with patchy fur. Laura wants to take Bertie home, look after him and make him bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Her big sister Leah can't understand why she doesn't prefer a pampered pooch to fit in her handbag, and Leah's snooty friends tease Laura in the park one day, but she doesn't care. Bertie is the best dog in the world! And when he sounds the warning and averts a house fire, can he persuade Leah to give him a chance, too?